Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The Commuters

Some of the 98,000 rush hour commuters heading for their train at London Bridge Station.

Monday, 29 June 2015


Happy Americans at London Pride celebrate the recent legalisation of gay marriage in the US.  A big red bus full of Americans representing the US Embassy here in London took part in the days celebrations.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Ted gets a first

… an invitation to a “first” in a first of its kind here kinda way, as opposed to an academic first or a first in sports or a first born even … no this “first” was all total enjoyment. I got an invitation to the opening of ecovino teatro - the first wine bar in Enfield in North London.

ecovino tearto is brought to you by Sustainable Wines UK.  Remember them, I pinched all the explanations about natural, organic, biodynamic and sustainable wines off their website a while back in my quest to educate us all.  Well ... not only did they NOT sue me, they actually invited me to the opening of their wine bar in Enfield Town.

The wine bar runs Wednesday through Sunday at the very civilised hours of 6pm until 11pm. It’s located in the Dugdale Centre which is a big, light, and airy space that also has a Theatre (teatro). Comfortable sofas, chairs, and tables all just beckon to you to come in and sit down and treat yourself to a lovely glass (or 2 or 3) of wine that not only tastes terrific but you just know that it has got to be good for you as it’s made by winemakers who care about the environment and what we put in our bodies. Yeah alright Ted … we know any excuse will do … but it’s true actually – ask any hay fever/allergy sufferer what happened when they switched to a more organic or natural range of wine … bet I know the answer!

The fit out is great, with the red wines displayed in old wine cases behind the counter so you can see the physical embodiment of what is on their wine list. I decided I would start with a glass of the Walnut Block Collectables 2014 Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and I accompanied it with some organic nuts and olives. It was so good that I had another glass and accompanied that one with some organic ash coated goats cheese that I had bought from this lovely chap in the foyer. I was about to imbibe further when The Doll texted and politely enquired would I be long as she’d been at the restaurant for 20 minutes now … luckily there’s a great frequent and speedy overground service from Enfield Town to the centre of London … I’ll be back ecovino teatro!! 

Saturday, 27 June 2015

The Cottages

A row of pretty 19th century cottages tucked away beneath the towering Shard and other high rise buildings that surround London Bridge.

The "Winchester Cottages" built in 1890 were part of social housing and other charitable projects in this area that were common during this period.  I will explore this area and research further to find you the stories to tell you.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The Playground

Colourful and imaginative, this playground looks like a fun place to play.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Street Politics

Some one expressing their opinion on who is the greatest street artist.  Banksy is the UK's most well known street artist.  Blek Le Rat has been France's most well known street artist who has been around   for many decades.

 A close up of the script and scribbled over work.
The text says - "Banksy would be nothing without Blek Le Rat"

Monday, 22 June 2015

Waterloo 200 years on

Commemorations of the 200th anniversary of the Battle at Waterloo have been taking place at the battlefield in Belgium.  Not only was there a re-enactment of the battle but there was also an interpretation of the journey taken by Major Harry Percy and Commander James White RN carrying Wellington's report to the Prince Regent that the battle was won.

The horse drawn chaise travelled from the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich to London where several more ceremonies and parades took place.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Ted has summer licked

Research has proven what my taste buds have always known … gelato is good for you!!! ... even better for you than that the most “summerist” (is that a word Ted?) of all summer treats - ice cream.

You’re not fooling us Ted … gelato is just the Italian name for ice cream and they are the same thing. Well yes it is, and no they’re not really. Yes, gelato does mean frozen, and yes, it was invented by the Italians in Florence as far back as the 16th century even, and they went on to introduce it as a rich man’s desert in the wealthy courts of Europe of the time.  And yes, the ingredients in ice cream and gelato are very similar, but with an important difference ... ice cream is made with cream whereas gelato is made with milk, so immediately you have a different fat content. The large scale industrially produced ice creams are different again in that they contain mostly plastic emulsifiers and paint thinners with melted crayons for colour and flavouring all churned in a concrete mixer in a wind tunnel (ok ok ... so research may not entirely back up this Ted assertion, but after tasting real gelato I guarantee that your taste buds will).

The next imporference (“important difference” … look everyone I made up a portmanteau) is that as part of the creation process ice cream is whipped altogether much more ferociously than gelato, which increases the air content and thus the volume significantly, and explains why gelato has a much denser and more elastic texture. Gelato is also traditionally made with the fresh fruit or nuts of the season, with no additives, so it’s often very light in colour.  It’s kept at a higher temperature than ice cream which means it retains that softer creamy texture. 

The Italian’s also have another form of gelato which we call “sorbet”.  This gelato is water based with no milk in the mix, and thus the fruit colours are often quite vibrant. This version was also created in Italy around the same time as the milk based one, but this time in the far south in Sicily … this makes perfect sense when you think about it of course - it's madly madly hot in Sicily in summer ... way way too hot for cows even!! Interestingly dairy cows seem distinctly English in their temperature preferences, but I digress ...

London has picked up the Italian evening habit of promenading with gelato in hand, especially in Soho and Covent Garden, where a number of good gelateria can be found open late into the night.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Two Women, A Land-rover, and A Big Adventure

Anne-Laure (pictured) and Lucy spent six months travelling through North Africa and the Middle East in an old land rover they named Landy.  Crazy?  Maybe, but their inspirational journey was to experience everyday life in this part of the world and to show a positive side to these countries that is not expressed in the mainstream media.

The many stories they have to tell about this extraordinary adventure are published in a book titled Shifting Sands and a website of the same name.  They are also taking part in the InTransit Festival  where Anne-Laure, Lucy and Landy will be found in a tent serving tea and regaling their stories between 19-28 June.

They'll tell you how they pimped Landy everywhere they went, not just to make her look crazy but for very practical reasons such as not looking like a military vehicle, or why they lined the entire inside of the vehicle in cork.

During their time in Istanbul, Landy became a canvas for the art of Leo Lunatic, Istanbul's equivalent of Banksy, as a result this is the first time Leo's art has been able to travel outside of his home country.

By the end of the trip they have become damn good mechanics and have made some amazing and lasting friendships.

Don't miss the opportunity to meet them in person and hear about their adventures.  For my overseas readers, do visit their website.  

Friday, 19 June 2015

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Take Courage

In the 19th century this building was part of one of the largest breweries in the world.  Near the banks of the Thames River as its waters were considered the best for beer.  My how times have changed.  No water wheels or hint of a brewery now.  What does the building house now you ask?  Apartments of course.
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